Manchin attacked House progressives in remarks to reporters Monday for holding hostage the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Just last week, before he left for Europe, President Biden revealed a $1.75 billion social-spending framework. This is a reduction of the original $3.5 trillion. Manchin said Monday that he is still not happy with the current framework and that the Senate cannot pass the legislation without him. Democrats had hoped that they could vote this week on the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill, but Manchin's comments suggested that it might not be possible.
Manchin said Monday that he saw shell games and budget gimmicks as I examine the details of the framework. "As more details are released, I see that there are many real details that are not in the basic framework. The real cost of the $1.75 trillion bill is almost twice that amount if it's extended permanently." Manchin stated to reporters Monday afternoon. "And that's something we haven’t even talked about. This is the recipe for economic disaster.
Manchin, who had expressed his concerns about inflation and spending, has reiterated them Monday. He took no questions.
Manchin stated that he would not support reconciliation legislation if he did not know how the bill would affect our economy and debt.
Later Monday, Senator Bernie Sanders made a mockery of the funding for the bipartisan infrastructure bill. He told reporters that the bill ran up a $250Billion deficit over a 10-year time period. It has not been paid for. It is not paid for. The legislation I would like to see pass, which includes lowering prescription drug costs and expanding Medicare, as well as paid family and medical leave, has been paid for in full. It will have no impact on inflation."
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the deficit would be increased by $256 billion by the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
West Virginia senator said that he had been working in good faith in negotiations on reconciliation bill. He also stated that he is open to compromise.
Within an hour, Manchin's statement was responded to by the White House.
"Senator Manchin stated that he would support a Build back Better plan to combat inflation, fiscally responsible, create jobs, and ensure the economy is sustainable. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated that the House's finalized plan meets these requirements. It is fully funded, will reduce deficit and bring down costs for housing, health care, elder care and child care. Experts agree that it will lower inflation. It has been endorsed by 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists. We remain confident that Senator Manchin will support the plan.
Manchin's statements angered some progressives.
Cori Bush, a congresswoman, stated that Joe Manchin's opposition of the Build Back Better Act was anti-Black and anti-child as well as anti-immigrant. She also said that Manchin does not have the right to decide the country's future. She urged the Senate to "actually get this done." If Sinema and Manchin do not support the social spending bill it will not be made law.
"When I made a promise to St. Louis for a historic investment in our children, seniors, housing, and schools, I stated that I would do all I could to make our community feel better. We can't spend the next year saying that the House did its job, but now it's up to the Senate. The Senate is required to get this done.
Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, was not willing to let go of the possibility of a vote within the next few days. When reporters asked her if the House would vote on the social spending bill this week, she replied quickly, "That's our hope," and reiterated her belief that it was possible. Responding to reporters' questions about whether Monday's Manchin statement had changed anything, she said that it hadn't and that lawmakers are "on their course."
The House Rules Committee must still meet to discuss the Build Back Better framework. Progressives are asking the House to adopt the infrastructure bill in conjunction with the reconciliation bill. Next week, the House will be out of session.
Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, stated that she would like the House to vote on both bills in this week's session. She also expects that every progressive voter will vote for both.